Post-Ailes, Fox News struggles with snipes and gripes
October 11, 2016
This was supposed to be a pretty great week for Fox News Channel. In addition to the usual big ratings from Tuesday’s vice presidential debate, the network is poised to celebrate its 20th anniversary on Friday, a milestone that the network has been talking up for days.
Instead, this week has turned into just another headache in the post-Roger Ailes era.
The network is fielding accusations of racism over a story on “The O’Reilly Factor,” then two of its highest-profile anchors got in a very public spat over the presidential election.
That’s not ideal for a network that, while still way out ahead in the ratings, has faced questions over whether it should be shifting focus with Ailes gone and its most loyal viewers aging.
‘Watters’ World’ controversy
The racism furor erupted over a “Watters’ World” segment in which reporter Jesse Watters journeyed to Chinatown in New York City to quiz residents on their opinions of Donald Trump.
Among his questions: “Do you know karate?” and whether he should bow when he spoke with them.
Asian-American groups weren’t amused by the piece, which FNC dubbed as humor.
Several released a joint statement condemning the segment, and it’s been a hot topic on social media.
Hannity vs. Kelly
Speaking of social media, that’s where Sean Hannity went to air his grievances when fellow Fox News host Megyn Kelly called out Donald Trump during her program Wednesday, saying the presidential candidate was playing it safe by only appearing on “Hannity,” where he receives softball questions. (She lobbed similar accusations of interviewer shopping at Hillary Clinton.)
Hannity didn’t like the comment and hopped on Twitter to defend himself and accuse Kelly of being, horror of horrors, a Clinton supporter.
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